The island of Lord of the Flies is, indeed, a microcosm, or a little world. In the first chapter, Ralph delights in the freedom and beauty of this island, alluding to it as "Here was a coral island." This allusion is very significant because Golding wrote his novel in answer to the idealistic work of R. M. Ballantyne:
Lord of the Flies challenges the unrealistic outlook expressed in The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean (1858), by Robert Michael Ballantyne. That Victorian adventure novel features three boys marooned on an island with pirates and cannibals. The boys cheerfully maintain their Christian moral outlook and gentleman's manners until they are able to escape. [Enotes]
On an island, away from all the restrictions of society, the boys of Golding's allegory, however, do not maintain their civilized outlook as in Coral Island . Instead, they descend into savagery. Despite Ralph's efforts to maintain British civility and discipline, without the reinforcement of society, the boys'...
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